At the very start of this year, I was lucky enough to catch Manchester’s bravest indie popster’s Dutch Uncles dazzle a small yet packed out crowd at The Castle in Manchester, the day they released their excellent third LP Out Of Touch In The Wild.  It’s been a good few months for the quintet since the release of the record, having toured the UK a few times over both as headliners and as a support act; they’ve seemed of have picked up a few more followers and their latest effort is being coincided by many as one of the best records this year has produced.

So, as final hurrah for what has been a nice little 2013 for Dutch Uncles, they’ve set out of short run of UK tours with a three piece strings selection, they’ve named ‘The Out Of Touch In The Wild Orchestra’ and it excites me greatly to find them on home soil, tonight playing probably one of the biggest rooms they’ve ever headlined as a band, Academy 2.
The set tonight mainly leans of tracks from their third album, of course. In fact, they play every song off it! And with the sound of strings backing them, they have never sounded more rich in sound as it re-create the majesty of the record. It’s also easy to forget underneath the quirky time signatures and spiky guitar lines, Dutch Uncles really know how to bring the groove, and there isn’t a single limb left still as hips shake and heads nods to earlier album tracks ‘Cadenza’ and ‘Face In’. It’s great to hear some tracks off their almost-forgot debut record, in all its guitar-driven, punkish glory. It’s even cooler to hear one of the albums many highlights ‘Steadycam’ backed with strings, increasing the size of its chorus (gang vocals in all) into something that sounds like it should be played in bigger room than this.

After the hypnotic, piano driven groove of new album closer ‘Brio’ the band leave the stage, to briefly re-enter the stage, almost itching to get back on a play a few more songs – much to our delight. The encore opens with a mellowed, stripped back rendition of second album single ‘Fragrant’ which see’s the band swapping their core instruments for xylophones, glockenspiels and keyboards, to bring a new meaning to this usually urgent sounding track is a simply beautiful re-creation. As frontman Duncan thanks the crowd and their orchestra for helping in them live their dream, they close on the wonderfully uplifting, strings-driven pop of recent single ‘Flexxin’ which resorts in lots of hand clapping and excited cheers. Dutch Uncles are a special band who put a really unique and inventive spin on pop music and are a excellent looking and sounding live band and with a performance as exciting and magical as this; I simply ask you  to not be out of touch with Dutch Uncles.

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Benjamin Forrester

I joined the Silent Radio family near the very start of my move to Manchester in 2012 and I'm still having the best time! During my stay here I've been in two noisy bands, had a not so noisy solo project, made a zine, started a blog and started a radio show. It's been productive to say the least and it's all been intersperse with a shit load of gig going and beer drinking. I would love it if you followed me on twitter @dr_brainless for excitable tweets about playing, watching and living new music.